Jude Chinedu, Enugu
Federal College of Agriculture, Ishiagu (FCAI), Ebonyi State, has graduated 2,512 students during its 44th combined convocation ceremony and award of the fellowship.
Provost of FCAI, Prof Justina Mgbada, who made this known at the event said the convocation covered graduands from 2016/2017, 2017/2018 and 2018/2019 academic sessions.
On the state of the college, Prof Mgbada said that the National Board for Technical Education (NBTE) has accredited most of the academic programmes in FCAI. She said the college has more than 200 hectares of land, adding that academic programme in the school was 60 per cent practical and 40 per cent of theory.
Mgbada said: “The academic calendar is strictly adhered to. We have never experienced any industrial action either locally or nationally. So, our academic programmes go on uninterrupted. Students’ results are presented, considered and approved weeks after examination and published within 24 hours for them to access it online.
“Having been established over 60 years ago, the college deserves to be in the league of the best, at least in Nigeria. Therefore, I came into office with imaginative strategies aimed at redressing the deficiencies of FCAI as well as reinventing and repositioning the college to respond effectively to the challenges of which the 21st century has engendered.”
In his speech, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Alhaji Muhammad Sabo Nanono, restated the Federal Government’s commitment towards reducing the nation’s over-dependence on the oil sector by making agriculture the mainstay of its economy.
Represented by the Executive Secretary, Agricultural Research Council of Nigeria (ARCN), Prof. Garba Sharabutu, the minister said that the Federal Government was passionate about the development of agriculture.
To achieve this, he said that “the ministry has set up two committees: the strategic planning committee and the committee of think-tanks made up of highly competent agriculturalists to advice on modalities to achieve self-sufficiency in food production and to align the policy of the ministry to the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan of the Buhari administration”.
Ebonyi State Governor, Chief David Umahi, represented by the Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Mr. Uchenna Orji, congratulated the graduands and charged them to be part of the state’s drive towards an agriculture driven economy.
“On behalf of the governor, I want to say that Ebonyi State is prepared to have what we call ‘zero oil economy’. We are saying that all these graduands are going to be veritable instruments in our initiative towards zero oil economy.
The ceremony also witnessed the conferment of fellow, the guru of agriculture of the century on President Muhammadu Buhari and the conferment of fellow of agricultural engineering on Governor Umahi.